by RANDY ALTIG
o many food products today are
mass-produced, which is necessary to meet modern demands.
But there’s a unique segment of
products that are made in traditional
ways—and indeed must meet certain
standards of traceability and excellence
before coming to market. Costco is proud
to feature a number of these wonderful
products from Europe, including extra-virgin olive oils, cheeses and balsamic
vinegar. Here’s a look.
You may have seen these designations
on packages: DOP, which stands for
Deno-minazione di Origine Protetta (Protected
Designation of Origin), and IGP, which
stands for Indicazione Geografica Protetta
(Protected Geographical Indication).
Both certifications are governed by a
system of European Union (EU) rules
designed to guarantee authenticity while
protecting consumers and producers.
“Production is carried out according
to product specifications of the DOP and
it’s certified by an independent body,”
says Chris Schaller, a Costco cheese buyer.
He gives the example of Kirkland
Signature™ DOP Parmigiano-Reggiano.
“The trademark Parmigiano-Reggiano
can only be put on a cheese produced and
processed in a small designated section
of Italy to control quality and production
size,” he says. “These rules require precise
production methods, controlled feeding
of the cows and qualitative selection and
marking of the products.”
In the case of Parmigiano-Reggiano,
following the traditional method of
farming, the milk from the evening
Traceability and tradition are
essential to regional authenticity
Randy Altig fills this
reporter slot with
this behind-the-scenes look at a
about this article
Rakes are used to dislodge
olives from the tree, which
are then gathered up from a
tarp on the ground to make
Kirkland Signature Extra
Virgin Olive Oil.